This photo is of me and my mate Iain, taken at my 18th birthday party – I was a tad drunk. Things have been so busy lately in our house with the girls that I’d all but forgotten that today is my birthday – 20 years after this photo was taken! With all the running around for dance rehearsals and then Mother’s Day I wasn’t thinking about my birthday at all. Afterall, it’s just another day.
The Birthday Weekend
I know for many people birthday are special events and you often hear terms like “birthday weekend” where people seem to celebrate the day for an extended period. Well, my birthday weekend went like this…
Up early to get the young girls ready for dance classes, then up and down the street taking them and collecting them to and from alternate classes for 4 hours.
Feed the girls and get them ready for showcase rehearsals at 3.15. Helen went straight from work to chaperone at these rehearsals and I found myself with 3 hours to myself. What did I do? I did the laundry, ironing, cleaning and made a vegetarian lasagne.
After the showcase rehearsals, we ate together. Incidentally, I really enjoyed the lasagna but everyone else hated it – I now have a weeks worth of it to eat. Then we spent the rest of the night photographing the girls in their various showcase costumes. This went on until about 10 pm when the bed was calling.
Mother’s Day, so got the girls up and ready for the rehearsals that had been put on due to the disruption caused by the Beast From The East. Whilst all the girls were in the first half of rehearsals I took Helen for breakfast at our local cafe – The Penny Bank Cafe. Helen went for a bacon sandwich while I opted for the Croque du Yorkshire (home roasted bacon with Harrogate blue cheese) – it was delicious. When the younger girls came home after their rehearsals I took the dogs for a muddy dog walk.
Straight from collecting the older girls from their second rehearsal, it was down the A1 to West Yorkshire to see my Mum. We ended up eating out, unplanned, at Pizza Hut. It was a good afternoon and nice to see her. Then it was time to head back north again.
Due to some lack of planning the girls embarked on a birthday card making project. Helen and I made a start on editing the photos of the girls in their showcase costumes. We’ve got some fabulous photos that we’re going to make into a photobook as well as frame around the house.
So clearly my birthday weekend wasn’t quite what some people would be doing but actually, I had a great time. We’ve spent time together as a family. I’ve had a bit of time to myself and got out into the fresh air for a muddy dog walk. What more could a 38-year-old ask for?
Age is Just a Number
I’ve always been the type of person who says things like “age is just a numb” or “you’re as young as you feel”. I still do maintain this philosophy but lately, I have been looking ahead to my 40th.
It’s natural to question your life every now and again and mark of mental milestones around ages. 38 isn’t a traditional milestone age, but in my mind, it’s my last even number before I’m 40. Odd, I know. But approaching four decades on this planet I do look at where I am and wonder if I chose the right paths. Marrying Helen and having the girls is my biggest achievement in life. But, I have lots of debt and financial stability is not yet upon us. I once thought by the time I was forty I could be getting ready for early retirement! What a joke that thought was. Did I do the right things?
No, probably not. But I also wouldn’t change anything either. You cannot buy happiness, no matter how hard you try. I’d rather not have a penny and be happy as can be. That said, if retirement is as 65 then turning forty will put in me into the second half of my working life and planning for the future is a must – irrespective of my “live for today” attitude.
Well, this morning I opened my gifts and homemade cards from the girls. I now have a bottle of red wine and lots of chocolate to eat. Helen is working tonight and the girls are dancing so I am left to write this blog and celebrate on my own. At least I got some more of the hallway tile grouting scrubbed clean! Oh, I know how to celebrate a birthday.
But I am happy. I have all I need and frankly, my mind is on other things than me turning 38. Here’s to the nexy 365 days!